The number of inspectors employed to stamp out illegal dumping has been raised to 118 and will assume their duties next week, an official from the environment department said on Friday.
The training of the inspectors to stamp out illegal dumping ended last month, and they will assume their duties once their personal IDs are issued next week, environment department official Chrystalla Stylianou told the Cyprus Mail.
The ministry’s initial announcement in November allowed for the appointment of 74 inspectors following a demand raised by municipalities which said they could no longer cope with the scale of fly-tipping.
But more interest was shown by municipal workers to take on the positions and the scheme expanded to all the municipalities. Training took part in three different sessions.
“The main thing we will achieve with this plan is that now municipal inspectors will have an additional tool, the ability of issuing higher fines,” she said.
Individuals caught dumping waste illegally will be warned by the inspector to move them before a certain date, or else they will be fined €200. If they fail to comply with the instructions, they will receive an additional fine of €400.
The same fate awaits companies caught dumping, with the fines reaching €500 and an additional €1000 if the waste is not moved after the first fine.
For more serious cases, such as toxic waste, the legislation foresees a fine of up to €500,000 or a jail sentence of up to three years or both.
All the inspectors will operate under senior environment officer Costas Hadjipanayiotou and will apply the Waste Law of 2011 for a “more effective application of the law” said Stylianou.
Inspectors will receive complaints from the public through their municipality and will also patrol the neighbourhood during their shifts to catch any fly-tippers.